I'm really not materialistic - an absolute must when striving to live below your means (especially in this economy) which, ironically enough is why I buy Polo shirts. For a while, during my Air Force days, I bought all my clothes at the Base Exchange or Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, this was very expensive, as the shirts do not last long due to pilling, shrinking, fading, ripping or unraveling. Once I was out of the Air Force and could afford to shop elsewhere, I was shocked to discover that I could purchase $100 Polo's for half as much as a shirt would cost me at Wal-Mart (when on sale), and that they would last me something like seven times longer. It just makes good economic sense to buy Ralph Lauren at a Department Store.
But I don't want to ever come off as brand-centric. There was this guy in HP/UX class in '99 who drove a Porsche. Every day he wore a different color Porsche shirt with matching Porsche socks, and a Porsche hat. Any ONE of those items would be fine. Together, however, they're overkill. I have a Tommy Hillfiger ballcap, and a Polo ballcap. I try to never wear the brand of hat with the same brand of shirt. I'm just silly that way; I'd think it pretentious.
Similarly, I used to wear Guess jeans. I loved loved loved my Guess jeans as they were oh-so comfortable...until I had my second child. I could no longer afford them, so I started wearing Wranglers (not the dark, stiff, boot-cut Wranglers of the 70's mind you. These days they're soft, stone-washed demin). Come to find out, my $14 Wranglers last just about as long as a $75 pair of Guess. Since this discovery I've worn Wrangler's exclusively, as its all about value.
I do buy Ralph Lauren paints though. But not because I wear Polo shirts (See how this is starting to look? People really do think I'm a snob sometimes. Me! A snob!?!?) When we bought our first house, my brother had painted all the interior rooms different colors using Ralph Lauren paints. They were the deepest, most beautiful hues I'd ever seen. Every single time my wife and I pick out colors for a room, we always start with Glidden or Behr to save money, but always end up with Ralph Lauren. There really is no comparison. Nothing else even comes close.
Speaking of saving money, I never purchase designer cologne. I always buy the knock-off brands. Its just not that important to me. Besides, I'm not really big on wearing much. I like a nice spray on my neck when I shave, and that's about it. I like the convenience and applicator of the Axe sprays, but only recently found a fragrance I like - Bergamot. Subtlety masculine. But yesterday, all that changed, and I'm really not to blame. I didn't have any previous knowledge of this cologne! And it bothers me that I want to purchase it - at full price nonetheless - something I've never before done.
When we were in the Air Force together in England, photogoot's favorite fragrance was "Lagerfeld: Photo." Which he refused to wear for the same reason I'm now struggling. He didn't want to have to tell people that he was a photographer by trade, who's hobby was photography, and why yes, that is "Photo" I'm wearing. It just seemed too silly.
I was sitting at my desk yesterday morning, listening to Speed Racer and A Beautiful Mind while I worked, when some unknown person walked by my cube and suddenly this amazing scent filled the air. I've never gone out of my way before to discover male fragrances. I just don't care. But this! This...called to me in a way I still don't understand. I need to seek it out, and rub it on my body. I stood up looking for the culprit, and noticed a coworker who's desk is elsewhere standing in our area. Could he be the one? Of course I didn't want to approach him:
William H. Macy: Thanks, Woody, I feel really safe with you.
John Travolta: I noticed that. If you ever lay your head on my back while riding bitch, I'll throw you into traffic!
William H. Macy: I was just trying to keep the wind out of my face.
John Travolta: I felt you smell my neck!
Martin Lawrence: Did you smell that man's neck?
William H. Macy: His cologne is fantastic. It's musky with an oaky finish like a...lawyer cowboy.
Later that day, entirely by happenstance, he joined us at lunch, and I had to ask. The answer?